About Us

My photo
Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Friday, 31 October 2008

Moto GP

In August we went up to Valencia (Ricardo Tormo Circuit) to collect 4 tickets for the Moto GP in October. When we got there, most of the seats we wanted had already been sold. We couldn’t get 4 together. We paid a little more than we wanted, and got 4 in the Yellow stand, which is really good, and has two TV screens. Two of the tickets were for us, the other 2 for Rose and Shamus. Sadly, Rose has taken ill, and the doctor advised her not to travel. We asked a few people if they wanted the tickets, but they either couldn’t afford them, or were busy.

On the Friday, we went to the circuit quite early, and simply stood outside the ticket office, and offered our tickets to passers by! The first couple thought they were fake, but after a little persuasion they believed us, but they didn’t have enough cash (they were paying by card). One chappie completely ignored us (his loss) and one chap was having his card swiped as we asked. Then we got lucky. An Australian chap was meant to collect some pit-lane passes, but they had not appeared. He bought both tickets for himself and girlfriend and was very pleased. A little later, they joined us on the stands, and were thrilled to see what good seats that had got, for ‘face value’. We had no interest in making money, simply in breaking even.

It was raining much of Friday, so we were all sat together, huddled under waterproofs and umbrella’s watching the practice. Saturday, Ed’s back was very bad, so we didn’t go, but on Sunday, we left home at about 7am, and went on the bike. Typical Spanish, no one goes anywhere early, so we were parked right near the front of the bike park. Later, I noticed that there were 4 huge car parks full of bikes, and then the cars.

The weather was very kind to us. A cold start soon warmed up, and I even ended up with sunburned arms and face. (You could see where my sunglasses had been!) The racing was not very close, but we were so close to the track, that we still enjoyed it. We took our time leaving (as usual) and had no holdups at all going home.

What we did notice, was, some new roadways that had recently been finished, had all of the roundabouts with a road going straight across. Ie, normally, it was a roundabout, but, when there was an event on, then the traffic simply went straight across – all supervised by police with whistles of course! What a brilliant idea!


We have had a windy few days, and last night/this morning, Ed heard some tiles moving around. He went up on the roof to check, and we replaced about 6 tiles. Thankfully we still had a few left over, from when Ed built the pump house. North of Valencia, they have had heavy snow (for Spain!) in the mountains, but at least the forecast for next week is dry again...

Just Chillin'

Paddy, Max and John - and a large glass of Bacardi & Coke!!

Foot Warmer

The weather is now starting to turn cold. (ish) We have had the fire lit for the last 2 days, although today it has managed to get up to 19 degrees for about an hour. Overnight, it is now down to nearer 12.

It is not very warm in the house without the fire lit, but at least when I am working, I have a lovely device for keeping my feet warm…

Time to Prey

John found a couple of preying mantis’ while he was here. September / October seems to be the time for them. The first two he found were about 2 inches long, just big enough to catch and look at closely… then…

when pruning the olive tree, John spotted a ‘proper’ preying mantis. This little beastie was huge as you can see from the photo. He wasn’t very happy about us cutting his tree but didn’t fly away. We were very careful not to cut him in half, so hopefully he went on to do whatever they do in peace!

Tree Fellers

John was getting bored, so he took the opportunity to cut our almond and olive trees for us. The almonds were about 30 feet high, so it was impossible to get any crop from them. Once he had finished, they were nearer 6ft. The old neighbour next door tried to tell us how to cut them, but he only spoke Valenciano so we couldn’t really understand him. Still, he was very happy to see that we were having a go, even if they didn’t look very aesthetic once it was done!

The Olive tree got a good haircut too! John took it back to the bare minimum, which it really needed. There was lots of fresh growth on it, so hopefully, next year, there will be lots of olives too.


After all of the heavy rain, the reservoirs in the area had to empty water out, to prevent any adverse affects in the case of overflows. On the way back from Gandia, we went via Bellus and stopped to look at the dam. We weren’t the only ones, but the day before had been even more impressive. The lake itself was still very full, but, much to John’s amusement, if you looked carefully, you could still see a telephone pylon upright in the middle of the water!


John came over for his 50th birthday and we had a lovely 2 weeks. The day before his birthday, he and I went to Gandia for a few hours. It was a nice ride over and as it was now October, all of the beaches were virtually empty. We walked around the harbour, and along the beach front. We didn’t bother to paddle, as it was a little cold (T-shirt weather!) but there were still several people on the beach.

Storm Tragedy

We had some terrible rain again this month. In fact, it rained every day in the Valencia Region during October, except the first 3 days. Here in l’Olleria we had a terrible downpour on Thursday 9th. We were fine, as we are so high above the village, but further down, the gully and riverbeds were awash. A lady (originally from Brighton) went into town to pick up her 14 year old twin girls and their friend. On the way home, they realised that they couldn’t get their car across a swollen river which was normally a dry riverbed. Tragically, they decided to cross by foot, all linking arms. One of the twins slipped and they all fell into the turbulent water. The friend and one twin managed to get to the side, but the second twin and the mother were both drowned. Their bodies were found 1 mile downstream in the early hours.

A service was held here, (which Ed went to) and then they were repatriated back to England for a proper funeral. Such a tragic loss, in a momentary decision.

We are very happy with the location of our house. Although we are not at the very top of the mountain, we are high enough up not to be adversely affected by the rain as it flows down the ravines around us. There are only a few houses higher than us, so the rain is able to run its natural course before turning into a torrent. During the recent storms, the wind was so strong, it even blew the rain into our garage under the door. It will take ages to dry out, but obviously that is nothing compared to those who have been flooded out and the families affected by lives lost.


Well, at last the dogs seem to have realised what a ball is for! We have spent ages throwing balls for them, only for us to have to fetch them ourselves! Not quite the right idea. Finally they have figured out that when we throw the ball and then run after it and bring it back, it turns in to a game. Hooray!

Paddy tends to fetch the ball back most of the time, but Max certainly has a few goes too. However, when it gets back to us, Paddy just spits it back out somewhere nearby. Max, on the other hand, won’t give it up! The best thing to do, is catch him (if you can) and then take the ball out of his mouth. If he has already dropped it by his feet, he will bite you as you try to pick it up! Great fun, and a quick way to give them exercise, without the usual 3 mile trek around the mountain!

The bad point is… if the balls are in their mouths long enough, they will get crushed, so they don’t bounce any more! The dogs love popping them, but won’t chase them if they don’t bounce properly! I have now discovered that once they show signs of being bored, I simply remove the ball and put it on the wrong side of the patio railings, where they can see it, but not get it! (Cue another game, where they try to knock it off with their paws – but can’t!)